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You can’t have a perfect game day without the right food. Be it a full meal or a spread of appetizers, you need to make sure you have something satisfying to chow down on while you’re glued to the screen. And whether you are taking in a college game day or settling in to watch the pros, residents of each state have a dish appropriate for their table. From recipes based on a team’s mascot to regional specialties, here are some game day ideas inspired by every state and Washington, D.C.
It wouldn’t be right to have a game day barbecue without Alabama’s signature white barbecue sauce. This recipe pairs tangy regional barbecue sauce with smoky, tender chicken.
King crab is one food you need to try if you’re visiting Alaska. This recipe takes the beloved Alaskan king crab and combines it with Asian-style pickled vegetables to create the perfect sandwich to eat without taking your eyes off the game.
Bell peppers make for a tasty game day appetizer, and stuffed peppers are a great Southwestern option. This recipe stuffs hearty ground beef along with spinach and couscous inside of a baby pepper, that is then topped with cheese.
Razorback fans can pay homage to their beloved mascot with this delicious pork-based recipe. This ham and cheese stromboli allows you to make your own bread and fill it with delicious ham and cheese to create a masterpiece perfect for tailgating.
Californians love their avocados, so classic chips and guac is all they need to get through the game. This guacamole recipe is quick and easy to prepare so you won’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen instead of in front of the screen. And when you’re done, there’s a secret trick to keeping your guacamole fresh even after the game is over.
It may be hard to take your eyes off the majestic mountains in Colorado, but on game day, it’s all about the food. The Broncos may be the center of attention in this state, but Coloradans can appreciate this one-pot, Slow-Braised Beef Short Ribs recipe.
Connecticut, home to one of the beautiful college campuses in the country, takes pride in UConn and the Huskies. This pulled pork slow cooker dip recipe is the perfect game day appetizer for cheering on the home team.
Nicknamed "the First State," Delaware knows a thing or two about classics, including this dish you can probably spot at any Super Bowl party. This buffalo chicken dip recipe is a staple dish when it comes to game day foods — and you can make it in just 30 minutes.
This recipe works well with Florida’s taste for Latin flavors. This grilled chicken recipe definitely isn’t boring because it not only has cilantro and lime but also a flavorful corn salsa to give it some kick.
Just because Georgia is called the Peach State doesn’t mean that is all they eat. On game day, they’re all about that seven-layered dip. This recipe adds Mexican-style ground beef sausage between layers of tomatoes, corn, cheese and more all in one skillet.
Courtesy of Pillsbury
Even though Idaho didn’t vote potatoes as their favorite vegetable, Idaho is the home of potatoes, especially on game day. This recipe takes loaded potatoes and combines them with pinwheels to create this great appetizer.
For the Loaded Potato Pinwheels recipe, click here.
Chicago-style hot dogs run this state. It isn’t a proper game day in Illinois until you get yourself a hot dog with sport peppers, tomatoes, pickle relish and more on a poppy seed bun.
Indiana’s breaded pork tenderloin sandwich is probably the best thing to eat in the Hoosier State, but this pork sandwich recipe made with barbecue sauce and beer is also great for game day.
For the 3-Ingredient Barbecue Pork recipe, click here.
Iowans love their pork as much as they love their corn. This pulled pork slider recipe combines slow-cooked shredded pork with an unusual marinade ingredient: Dr Pepper or root beer. You can even turn it into a meal that you can make ahead and freeze for a weeknight.
You can’t go wrong with a classic cheeseburger recipe. Kansas is known for its beef, and Midwesterners will surely love to have the best burgers at their game day party.
When it comes to tailgating during game day, you can always count on someone grilling up some burgers, steak, chicken and more — and this Bluegrass Burger is perfect for “the Bluegrass State.” The recipe tops a blue cheese burger with bacon, Sriracha and a fried egg.
Po’boys are a staple in Louisiana’s famous cuisines, so it won’t be surprising to see people enjoying this sandwich during a Saints or Tigers game. This Shrimp or Crawfish Po’boy recipe is best eaten “dressed” with tomatoes, pickles, lettuce and mayonnaise on French bread.
Maine has some of the best seafood shacks, but you can also whip up some delicious seafood right at home for game day. Right before the game starts, toss together this dip recipe using cooked lobster meat, spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise and lemon juice.
There are a few ways you can make creative dishes inspired by America’s best buffalo wings. For example, Buffalo chicken dip is a staple at Patriots, Celtics or Red Sox watch parties. But take this dish to another level by making this Buffalo Chicken Casserole. It’s a mix of shredded chicken, hash browns, hot sauce and ranch dressing in layers.
Mississippi has some of the most storied college football programs in the nation, leaving residents brimming with school spirit. In between cheering, Mississippi fans can chow down on this equally as classic appetizer: pigs in a blanket.
Courtesy of McCormick
Toasted ravioli may be Missouri’s favorite, but on game day, speed up the process with this quick skillet recipe. This pasta skillet recipe is quick and easy to make with simple spaghetti sauce, ground beef, pasta and cheese. It’s one of many great foods you didn’t know you could make in your cast iron pan.
For the Easy Pasta Skillet recipe, click here.
For a state known for its majestic mountains and state parks, it only feels right to suggest this game day appetizer for Montanans. This Mountain Men’s Pepperoni Rolls recipe makes a satisfying snack on game day.
This chicken chili recipe is a definite game day pleaser that you can easily make ahead of time. The recipe includes beans, chicken breast and a bunch of spices like paprika, cumin and of course corn in honor of the Huskers.
Nevada doesn’t have it’s own football team, but that doesn’t mean the state, specifically Sin City, doesn’t love game day. If you want your gathering to feel like game day at a casino sports book, this is the recipe for you. This crispy curry coconut shrimp recipe can be easily made using pantry staples and its light to eat as an appetizer.
This corned beef and pickle dip recipe pays homage to New Hampshire’s traditional dishes from Colonial times. Try this recipe during game day as a spread on a sandwich or as a dip with crackers or vegetables.
New Jersey can be outrageous in its sports fandom — and with its game day snacks. Traditional nachos, a popular Mexican dish, are absolutely perfect in all forms, but this barbecued nachos recipe adds in pulled turkey and other meats smothered in barbecue sauce, cheese and jalapenos.
New York is the birthplace of one of the most common game day foods: Buffalo wings. But if you want to change it up this year, try this Buffalo Chicken Skewer recipe that uses Buffalo chicken chunks lined up with celery topped with blue cheese.
Ready for the ultimate recipe to upgrade your game day? Take delicious Carolina-style barbecue and combine with a classic burger, then you got this savory Carolina Barbecue burgers recipe with homemade sauce.
It wouldn’t be a true North Dakota game day feast with having a hot beef sandwich. This open-faced roast beef sandwich recipe takes another approach to the classic North Dakota dish by taking away that top layer of bread and getting straight to the delicious tender roast beef covered in gravy.
Game day favorites tend to be very meat heavy, but they don't have to be. This Southwestern vegetable cornbread bake recipe is much like Oklahoma — a combination of Southern and Southwestern flavors. This side dish is vegetarian-friendly with zucchini, corn, and black beans.
Oregon has a sizable Mexican population, and this Mexican-style Beef Sausage Nachos recipe amps up your typical tortilla chips. Make sure to check if any sauces or salsas you plan to add are expired. It's good to know the shelf life of your salsa and other dipping sauces.
A cheesesteak is an essential Philly sandwich, and this is a simple way to capture its flavors for game day. This Philly Cheesesteak Dip recipe transforms the bread into a bread bowl full of gooey cheese, roast beef, green peppers and onion in a cheese sauce.
Eating lobster is essential for Rhode Islanders, and this Nor’East Lobster Bake Quiche recipe will help fill bellies during the game. It’s also a fantastic way to use the rest of your eggs before they go bad.
This recipe pays homage to the popular boiled peanuts that could be spotted at tailgates in South Carolina. The peanut sauce is the perfect dip for roasted peppers or other vegetables.
Swedish meatballs are a dish that Scandanavian immigrants brought to South Dakota. While you’re shopping for ingredients for your next get-together at the grocery store, you can pick up supplies to recreate those cult favorite Ikea meatballs for your game day party. This copycat Ikea meatball recipe is easy to make these delicious Swedish meatballs at home.
Tennessee is known for its love of fried chicken, especially Nashville hot chicken. This Nashville Hot Chicken Chunks recipe will add some heat to your chicken that is balanced with a side of coleslaw and pickles.
Fry sauce is Utahns’ guilty pleasure, so this recipe will become their new favorite appetizer dish. This Funeral Potato Street Tots with Fry Sauce recipe combines shredded hash browns, cheese, garlic and more with a side of fry sauce made from ketchup, mayonnaise and pickle juice.
This maple bacon beer burger recipe will help the residents of Vermont enjoy an appetizing game day meal that incorporates their signature maple flavor.
For a state well-known for salmon and other fish, this is the perfect recipe to impress on game day. This salmon pastry with dill pesto recipe uses refrigerated pie crust to make this fresh mini appetizer.
You can’t go wrong on game day with a classic beef chili that can be made easily inside of an Instant Pot before the Mountaineers play.
Of course, Wisconsinites love a Wisconsin-inspired recipe on game day. This Cheesehead Sliders recipe is a beer-infused burger that will definitely please any tailgating crowd.
This Grilled Mesquite Beer Brats recipe is a Wyoming meat-lover’s dream. This recipe is made by sautéing peppers and onions while boiling brats and beer on the grill in a cast-iron pan. Once you’ve got your game-day entree, you just need a good salsa or dip recipe perfect for summer.
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